From an early age, girls are taught that they “don’t make the cut” – research shows that boys tend to dominate classroom discussions, are seen as better students, and are even given more attention by teachers than girls. Time and time again, girls have to stand up and stand out to “make the cut” and take on leadership roles.
Women around the world are still fighting for equal status in all settings—in the classroom, in the workplace, and even in politics. In an era where female CEOs at the top of their game still struggle for recognition, safe spaces where girls can be seen and heard are becoming a precious commodity. In the bustling town of Greenfield, Massachusetts, there is an International Baccalaureate (IB) all-girls school that addresses this issue.
Since its foundation in 1869. Stoneley Burnham School focused on helping young students find and shape their own authentic selves. The institution recognizes the advantages of setting up for girls, so they are primarily aimed at the development of their individual education.
It’s a strategy that works—almost 80% of girls in all-girls schools report that their classes challenge them to reach their full academic potential, compared to only 44% of girls in co-educational public schools. A whopping 93% of girls’ school leavers confirmed that they had been offered more leadership opportunities than their co-ed peers, with 80% of them having held leadership positions since high school.
Combine this with small class sizes 10 students at Stoneleigh-Burnham, and you’ll get a deep faculty-student relationship and a one-on-one approach. The result? Students who know who they are as learners and recognize that their place in society is important.
“Through our course of study and community programs, SBS students explore diverse ideas, develop cultural competence and connect their learning to a wider global context,” says Rose Chaffee-Cohen, IB Program Coordinator.
The school emphasizes the pursuit of excellence in all its forms, especially the presence of one’s own mind. Lucy, a 2026 student at Stoneley Burnham, confirms this independent aspect of learning: “I think being in a classroom at Stoneley Burnham is different from other schools because I feel that the students here really want to learn and want to become [part of] community”.
Institution built by women for young women is academically rigorous, but it is also a community that fosters an international perspective. There are at least nine students different countries gather at this New England boarding school to spend years learning from each other, understanding new cultures, and embracing different ways of living and thinking. Not surprisingly, it is this ability to succeed in a multicultural environment that makes Stoneley-Burnham students more well-rounded, a trait highly valued by leading universities such as Princeton University, Duke University, Brown University, Stanford University, Cornell University, and New York University. .
Indeed, the experience of Stoneleigh-Burnham students is to create them agent of their learning. In addition to the benefits of being a globally oriented IB school for girls, the institution has launched a year-long Voice and Empowerment certificate program for Year 10 students designed to emphasize the ability to express yourself, develop speech and debate skills, as well as focus on the rhetoric that occurs in the regular school year.
Complementing the other opportunities available at Stoneleigh-Burnham such as Performing Arts Camp and Equestrian day campthe Voice and Empowerment certificate program allows students to hone their self-expression and leadership skills outside of the traditional academic environment for a year.
With the new VOICE 10 The 153-year-old institution is breaking boundaries again as the only all-girls school in the U.S. to offer a year-long foundational voting and empowerment program. When students participate in VOICE 10, they choose to study in a world-class debate and public speaking program and immerse themselves in a boarding school environment.
Why voice and empowerment? Stoneley-Burnham believes it is — and should be — an important part of the growth process because it deals with knowing where you are. The world becomes a better place when students can create their own unique voices, explore their opinions, develop their own arguments, and practice advocating for themselves and those around them.
The numbers confirm the effect of this initiative. To date, 20 Stoneleigh-Burnham students have been ranked and competed in the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships. Whether it’s 7th or 12th grade, voice and empowerment are at the core of teaching and learning at Stoneley-Burnham.
If you are looking for a unique educational experience where your daughter can focus on finding, developing and using her voice, learn more about Stoneleigh-Burnham School here.